What is the FIRST® Tech Challenge?

Each September FIRST® our parent organization headquartered in New Hampshire, provides teams across the globe with a new challenge that focuses on real-world issues that scientists and engineers are facing today.

Students work together to design, build, and program their robots, preparing for the competition season that begins around November. Competition season can last through May or April depending on how far the team advances.

In addition to designing, building, and programming a robot for competition, teams will have to raise funds, design and maintain the team brand, and work to compete for specific awards. The students will also have to create an engineering notebook that documents their journey through the season.

What is the size of a FIRST® Tech Challenge team?

FIRST Tech Challenge teams should have a maximum of 15 students, many schools have multiple FTC teams to make sure all interested students are included. Students do not need any technical skills to join, FIRST encourages youths with all interests to join!

What is the time commitment for coaches, volunteers, and team members?

Mentors or adult Volunteers meet with their team at least once per week during the build and competition season (September – April). Many mature teams also meet throughout the school year, and some compete in off-season events during the summer. You, your family, and your available free time can decide together how much time you can devote to the program.

What kind of computer is needed for a FIRST® Tech Challenge team?

Teams must have access to either a Mac or a PC with an internet connection. Computers will be used for the design process, and for programming the team’s robot. Students will need to use computers for research, the Engineering Notebook, and other awards.

Students will also use the computers during competition, to update or fix potential electrical or programming issues.

What kind of practice space does a FIRST® Tech Challenge team need?

A suitable meeting place and space to design and build a robot about the size of a microwave oven.

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